Daily Archives: February 12, 2010

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source this week:

- Richard Branson makes the peak oil case

- Are Nord Stream and South Stream actually needed?

- Peak supply vs peak demand

- The downside to those Iraq oil deals

- Coming up in 2010: Greenland and the Falkland Islands

- Five big energy problems

- Two oil bears

- Climate science, wiki-fied

- An oil-less recovery

- Industry, at least, is still keen on carbon limits

Kate Mackenzie

Shell must have been a little shocked to hear a database of its entire staff directory – all 170,000 employees – had been emailed to environmental and human rights groups.

But it’s not clear, as Ed Crooks writes on ft.com, exactly who leaked it; although it claims to be a group of 116 employees, who are apparently concerned about Nigeria:

The e-mail sets out a four-stage strategy for raising awareness of allegations about Shell’s practices in Nigeria, including campaigns to target the media and institutional investors.

It also advocates “having people from NGOs [non-governmental organisations] becoming full-time (undercover) employees of corporations (in western countries)” to campaign for change in corporate practices.

Meanwhile John Donovan at royaldutchshellplc.com is irked, because he says Shell asked him not to make the directory public for security and personal reasons (he agreed); but the company subsequently told the press, including the FT, that the database leak was not a security risk. We don’t necessarily agree with Donovan’s accusation that the Shell staff in question were deliberately misleading anyone. Indeed the directory doesn’t contain personal home contact details, so opinions probably varied. But to say there are no security implications from such a leak isn’t quite correct.

Because leaked staff directories are not as safe as handing out business cards. The reason is: social engineering.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

- The downside of cheap Iraq oil deals sinks in

- A warning on US oil dependence

- What made 2009 energy M&A so big

- Are Chesapeake’s JVs a defence against acquisition?

- Climategate review, Total and Statoil in Energy headlines

Further reading:

- How weather events affect global warming beliefs

- US wind grant money still going overseas

- Will Europe ‘kill’ off biofuel subsidies?

- Medvedev versus shale gas

- Planned huge solar farm to shrink, because of tortoises

- How Branson gives peak oil street cred

- Iraq and India versus Saudi Arabia…?

- Why nat gas vehicles won’t decrease oil dependence

Kate Mackenzie

The White House’s Council of Economic Advisors has urged the President to… well, mostly keep doing what he is trying to do: reduce greenhouse gas emissions, price the externalities of emissions, and invest in clean energy technology.

The council included a chapter on ‘transforming the energy sector and addressing climate change’ in its 2010 annual report. It mostly focused on climate change but also made an argument about the economic and security implications of a continuing reliance on oil – with price volatility being a key message:

In the United States, continued reliance on petroleum-based fuels poses challenges that go beyond climate change. It makes the economy susceptible to potentially costly spikes in crude oil prices and imposes significant national security costs.

Kate Mackenzie

Energy M&A reached $150bn last year – a level not seen since 2006. The big trends in oil and gas corporate activity last year were unconventionals and national oil companies, according to Wood Mackenzie’s report on the subject.

National oil companies have been rising in the ranks for five years now – they carried out 17 per cent of M&A spending in 2009, according to the report.

Total energy M&A was $150bn, with two big unconventional deals accounting for more than a third of that: ExxonMobil’s $41bn XTO acquisition, and Suncor buying PetroCanada for $18bn.

Another $22bn was from Chinese NOCs, Korea’s KNOC and Columbia’s Ecopetrol.

When foreign mergers and acquisitions by NOCs’ are counted, the rate of growth is steep indeed:

Kate Mackenzie

US power groups to merge in $4.7bn deal (FT)

Energy sector shows M&A surge in 2009 (FT)

Shell staff details leaked to campaign group (FT)

UEA widens its ‘climategate’ email scandal probe (FT)

UK industry sees lack of support for green energy (FT)

Global drive helps EDF beat market forecasts (FT)

Total hit by production costs (FT)

Statoil trims production targets (FT)

Duke, Shell and GE lobby for US cap-and-trade (Reuters)

Jonathan meets with oil companies (UpstreamOnline)

Climategate review member resigns (Channel 4)

Floating crude and product storage falls (Argus)

SunPower to acquire Europe’s SunRay (NY Times)

China’s January electricity use up 40 per cent on 2009 (Bloomberg)

EU ETS security criticised (Argus)

Turkmenistan seeks bids from foreign producers (Bloomberg

Known lithium deposits can cover electric car boom for years to come (Reuters)

Iraq adopts ASCI benchmark for US crude sales (Argus)

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

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